The Kerala government is conducting a seroprevalence study to take stock of the spread of COVID-19 virus among the people in the state. Health Minister Veena George said that the study began earlier this month and is expected to be completed by the end of September. It would help understand the COVID seropositivity rate among various age groups including children, she told reporters.
"The Health Department is conducting the seroprevalence study. It is expected to be completed by the end of this month. It will be carried out among children as well as adults," the minister said. Asked about the school reopening in the state, Minister Veena said that the study will help understand the seropositivity among children and the government will take further decisions about it after the study. The study report will be submitted to the CM, General Education Department and other concerned officials, who would take a call on the reopening of schools after that.
In a slight relief, the test positivity rate of COVID-19 has come down to 15.19 on Saturday, September 11, after 1,34,861 samples were tested and COVID-19 was confirmed in 20,487 people. More people -- 26,155 -- are reported to have recovered from the disease.
On Nipah virus
On the concerns regarding the Nipah virus, reported in Kozhikode last week, she said that all the samples tested so far had turned out to be negative, which is a matter of relief. A 12-year-old boy died of the virus last week.
On Saturday, the Health Department said in a press release that the results of 20 more people whose samples were sent for testing have come back negative. With this, the samples of 108 people tested so far have turned out negative.
"Source tracing is equally important as that of contract tracing. A special team from the National Institute of Virology is already collecting samples from the state to identify the source of the spread of the virus infection," Minister Veena said. However, she added that the ongoing strict vigil and the restrictions in the affected areas would continue for some more time.
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Friday said that his government conducted a complete house-to-house survey within a three-km-radius from the house of the deceased boy as part of fever surveillance. He said that around 15,000 houses were included in the survey, from the containment zone, and details were sought from around 68,000 people.
(With PTI inputs)